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Development of NZGOAL

The State Services Commission and the Department of Internal Affairs led work to develop the New Zealand Government Open Access and Licensing framework (NZGOAL), which was approved by Cabinet on 5 July 2010.

Development of NZGOAL took two years. From 2008 to early 2009, SSC researched issues relating to the re-use of public sector information and reviewed the Creative Commons New Zealand law licences to understand whether they would be appropriate for all-of-government adoption for licensing of public sector copyright works.

In March 2009, SSC provided public service departments and some other agencies and external parties with a discussion paper entitled A Suggested All-of-government Approach to Licensing of Public Sector Copyright Works: Discussion Paper for Public Service and Non-Public Service Departments . Read the pdf version of this document below.

Overall, the 21 responses revealed strong support for all-of-government adoption of Creative Commons licences in conjunction with one or more restrictive licences, such adoption to be in the form of a framework and guidance material that would be recommendatory in nature and encompass the State Services. This feedback is written up in a Summary and Analysis of Departmental Feedback document. Read the pdf version of the document below.

On 27 August 2009, the Draft New Zealand Government Open Access and Licensing framework (NZGOAL)was released for further feedback. Read the pdf version of the document below. Comments on this draft were invited in 2009 on the SSC's In Development blog (no longer available) or via email

The draft set out a series of policy principles which embrace concepts of open access, open licensing, creativity, authenticity, non-discrimination and open format. It described the drivers behind this work, the departmental consultation process that has taken place, the New Zealand Creative Commons law licences, and set out a six-stage review and release process, which included a decision tree diagram.

The draft proposed that agencies apply the most liberal of the New Zealand Creative Commons law licences to those of their copyright works that are appropriate for release, unless there is a restriction which would prevent this. The most liberal Creative Commons licence is the Attribution (BY) licence.The draft recommended the use of clear no-known rights statements on non-copyright material, to provide certainty for people wishing to re-use that information. The final NZGOAL is drawn from this work, and subsequent feedback.

This was a slight change of approach from that envisaged in the Discussion Paper and the Summary and Analysis of Departmental Feedback. The main changes were:

  • Rather than adopting what we had referred to as an NZGILF and NZGILF Toolkit, we proposed a core framework (the draft NZGOAL) which would be supplemented by guidance notes addressing either specific topics on which further information may be required or issues which arise in practice.
  • A number of topics identified in the Summary and Analysis of Departmental Feedback as being appropriate candidates for the core framework document (the draft NZGOAL) would more likely be addressed in separate guidance notes.
  • While, in the Summary and Analysis of Departmental Feedback, we had contemplated a potential place for the Creative Commons Zero tool, we decided not to advocate its use in NZGOAL. Suggesting to agencies that they consider waiving Crown copyright or other copyright in their copyright works (which would be the effect of advocating Creative Commons Zero) would raise a miscellany of policy and legal issues that are beyond the scope of NZGOAL. Moreover, we did not consider the use of Creative Commons Zero to be necessary.

Read more at New Zealand Government Open Access and Licensing framework (NZGOAL).

Go to the Tohatoha Aotearoa Commons site where you can read more about Creative Commons internationally and in New Zealand.

Draft NZGOAL paper, August 2009 [PDF 893 KB]

Suggested All-of-government approach to licensing of public sector copyright works: Discussion paper for public service and non-public service departments, March 2009 [PDF 679 KB]

Suggested All-of-government approach to licensing of public sector copyright works: Discussion paper for public service and non-public service departments - summary and analysis of departmental feedback [PDF 287 KB] 



NZGOAL submissions

In August 2009, the State Services Commission and Department of Internal Affairs sought external feedback on the draft New Zealand Government Open Access and Licensing framework (NZGOAL)before finalising it and putting it to Cabinet for consideration.

There was excellent feedback from State Services agencies and the public. Much of this was received at meetings and presentations and during one-on-one discussions. The main exception to that was the comprehensive and very helpful submission received from Google.

The feedback and Google's submission covered, amongst other matters, the description and scope of the restrictions, attribution requirements for datasets, implementation and cultural change advice, and ongoing administration of NZGOAL once released.

There was also keen interest in which agencies will adopt NZGOAL and how it will be administered. Government agencies also NZGOAL's review and release process. This has confirmed that licensing is new territory for many agencies. A simple yet sufficiently comprehensive NZGOAL, sample attribution text, implementation assistance and ongoing training were confirmed as critical factors for high uptake.

Google's submission notes that "Opening up government-held data and information for wider use has the potential to release a wave of innovation and creativity, with significant benefits for the public in terms of better access to public services, and for government, through cost savings and better public engagement and input to policy formulation". It offers very useful comment and advice on the draft NZGOAL. With Google's agreement, the State Services Commission released this submission publicly on 8 March 2010 to encourage further debate on opening up government-held information and the benefits of the Internet as a platform to release this information.

Google submission to the State Services Commission on the draft NZGOAL [PDF 170 KB]


Last updated 20 September 2016